For a moment, especially in the looming shadow of yet another origin story, it would be easy to overlook the fact that like many a great superhero story, the tale of Spider-Man is one of great action. And with great action comes great action moments. And responsibility. Definitely some responsibility on the part of the filmmaker. While Sam Raimi wasn’t always completely responsible with his Spidey story — he let part three get way out of hand with villains and dance numbers — he never did let us forget that Peter Parker is once-bitten, thrice an action hero. It’s a fact we celebrate proudly in this week’s Scenes We Love, in the hope that Marc Webb will do the same with this The Amazing Spider-Man.
1. A Hero’s Choice in Spider-Man
Which weighs more, the girl or the cable-car full of kids? A classic hero equation. If you’re a web-slinging teenager squaring off against the maniacal Willem Dafoe, there’s only one way to make it happen: Save them all in a beautifully timed series of slow-motion shots. Also, sidenote, don’t mess with New York.
2. The Eight Ock Train in Spider-Man 2
The scene below is actually the extended train sequence from the Spider-Man 2.1 DVD release, but we doubt you’ll mind. It’s just an extended version of one of the single most epic superhero moments captured on film (up to that particular point). As he always does, our hero is tossed around, beaten, broken, aided by the denizens of the Big Apple and ultimately triumphant.
3. The Slo-mo Cafe in Spider-Man 2
Sam Raimi, you loved slow-motion before anyone else was really in love with slow-motion. This one also proved that Kirsten Dunst was a pretty good screamer in her day.
4. Hey, That’s Gwen! from Spider-Man 3
Before it got completely out of hand introducing villains 4-7, Spider-Man 3 did have a really great series of shots that included Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy tumbling off the side of a building, only to be rescued in heroic, frame-by-frame slow-motion by that Amazing so-and-so. The perspective shot of Gwen diving away from the first strike of the crane is worth it alone.
5. The Non-Spider-Man Fight Scene in Spider-Man 3
When Peter finally gets a load of Harry Osborn and his newfound tricks (not to mention his newly minted daddy death rage), he’s caught off guard and all of the sudden we’re careening through the alleyways of New York in the dead of night, a man in green armor and a Vespa-riding business casual kid with web-shooters. This one’s quick, but it was one of the third film’s better moments.